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Page last updated at 09:09 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 10:09 UK

Asian event joins elite WGC list

Sergio Garcia
Garcia beat Oliver Wilson in a play-off to win last year's HSBC Champions

The HSBC Champions tournament in China has been awarded World Golf Championships status.

It means the Shanghai event, which takes place in November, is the fourth tournament on the worldwide calendar that is one step down from the majors.

"I am looking forward to returning to Shanghai," said world number one Tiger Woods. "It is an event that symbolises the amazing progress of golf in Asia.

"A WGC event in China is very important to the global growth of the game."

Woods has already played in the HSBC Champions twice, finishing runner-up to England's David Howell in the first event in 2005 and to Korean Yang Yong-eun the following year.

American Phil Mickelson won in 2007 while Spaniard Sergio Garcia beat England's Oliver Wilson in a play-off to claim the title last year.


"The tournament certainly has a very special feeling and many of the players already referred to it as Asia's Major," said Garcia.

"Now there is no doubt about it - it is officially recognised as being a cut above the rest."

The tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, begins on 5 November, with a prize fund of £4.8m from last year's £3.4m.

Winners of all the leading events around the world will qualify for the tournament, which anticipates a field of around 78 players.

The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the WGC-CA Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational are the other World Golf Championship events.

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see also
Garcia beats Wilson in Shanghai
10 Nov 08 |  Golf
Mickelson triumphs after play-off
11 Nov 07 |  Golf

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